HR Certification: the new post-nominals

Lyn Goodear


written on October 26, 2016

This month I have the great pleasure to announce that the AHRI certification post-nominal designations have successfully been endorsed by the AHRI board, and are now available for use by certified members.

What that means is members who have achieved HR certification under the new model, or are working towards certification by one of the new pathways, will now be able to use the relevant AHRI designation after their name.

AHRI members who have satisfied the requirements of the National Certification Council (NCC) will be entitled to use CPHR letters after their name. AHRI fellows who have become certified through the NCC will be able to use FCPHR after their name.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the delay in finalising the post-nominal matter. The delay was caused by issues arising out of the due diligence process we put in place to ensure our designations did not overlap with those of other certifying bodies. Attentive members will know that the approved post-nominal letters are not the same as those we initially proposed in 2015. The need to make the change was accentuated when our international counterparts also began moving into the HR certification space with their own post-nominal designations.

Examples of those include our US counterpart, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), which employs the letters SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP to signify its certification designations. Our reciprocity partner, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), uses the designations ‘Chartered MCIPD’ and ‘Chartered FCIPD’.

Let me also remind members who have achieved the CAHRI post-nominal in the past that they will be free to use that designation indefinitely if they maintain their membership. The CPHR and FCPHR post-nominal signifies the achievement of a level of rigor in certification under the new model which is based on a much more robust standard than the one previously in operation.The new certification model allows AHRI to attest to the capacity of members we certify with respect to their professional knowledge, as well as their ability to do in practice what they say they can do as HR partners to the business.

From 2017, members will only be able to achieve HR certification under the new model, and therefore be entitled to use the new post-nominal letters of CPHR or FCPHR. CAHRI members can transition to the new model via any of the three pathways set out on the AHRI website, and many have already done that or are presently doing it. Members who are entitled to use the new post-nominal designations will be listed as such by AHRI from 2017. The listing will enable us to confidently inform employers that HR professionals who are AHRI certified bring a high level of credibility and professionalism with them that enables them to act as constructive partners to the business.

Since our 2014 watershed strategy meeting at which the AHRI Board of Directors and the Council of State Presidents gave the go-ahead to embark on the HR certification journey, my team and the AHRI staff have been working tirelessly to make each step on the road to certification count. We have initiated nationwide roadshows to inform members and explain why certification is a professional imperative, and how they can achieve it. We have consulted with members on the best ways to roll out certification, and we have made adjustments, the most notable being the creation of three pathways to certification.

We now have a critical mass of certified members, some of whom are proudly introduced to you in the certification feature, (see page 24). They come from the private and public sectors and are exemplars of good HR practice. They are also the building blocks that will enable HR to realise the professional standing in the business community that it deserves.

The rollout is not over, but the approval of the post-nominal letters is a critical step along the way.

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